Updated: June 23, 2015
Choosing the right facility requires careful, thorough and proper evaluation to ensure that you find the right and best assisted living facility for you or your loved one. Having an Assisted Living Tour Checklist is essential and critical for anyone that is about to begin this process.
Assisted living facilities cater to both retired seniors capable of living independently with minimal need for supervision, or seniors whose families are looking to ensure that their aging loved ones are looked after and tended to as needed.
To help you make the right decision, we have listed down some tips in this Assisted Living Tour Checklist for you to consider and to guide you in choosing the best facility.
Assisted Living Touring Checklist
1) Gather general data and do research on the different senior services and types of facilities most appropriate for you and your family. This will give you time to fully explore all the possibilities before making a decision. Consider asking the following questions:
- Does the facility offer assisted living services and amenities that cater to my needs and preferences?
- Is the facility conveniently located for family and loved ones to visit?
- Is the facility located in a safe neighborhood?
- Is there a waitlist? If so, how long?
- How often are visitors allowed? Are visitors allowed anytime?
- Is the facility within my budget?
- Is the caregiver-to-resident ratio enough?
2) Once you’ve gathered the information you need to narrow down your options, contact the facility and make an appointment to visit. Take the opportunity to learn more about the facility and observe. Consider the following questions in your visit:
A. General Area:
- Is there enough guest parking available?
- Is the assisted living facility maintained and clean inside and outside?
- Does the facility give off a home-like feel or have a friendly atmosphere?
- Does the facility maintain a comfortable temperature for its residents?
B. Safety Standards:
- Are there smoke detectors, sprinklers and fire extinguishers to cover the entire facility?
- Does the assisted living facility meet the safety standards in case of an emergency?
- Are there clearly marked, unobstructed and accessible exits?
- Does the facility have enough lighting?
- Is the entire facility accessible to walkers and wheelchairs?
- Are there handrails in hallways and grab bars in bathrooms?
- Are the floors non-skid?
- Are there door alarms?
- Does the facility offer good security in the event that a resident wanders?
- Are there accessible Call buttons in all rooms, bathrooms or for the entire facility?
- Is there a readily-available doctor or nurse, or a nearby hospital in case of health emergencies or accidents?
- How often does the doctor or nurse check on the seniors?
- Are the individual rooms and bathrooms clean?
- Are there options in terms of room size and number of occupancy?
- Does the facility have comfortable and decent furnishings? Can guests bring their own furniture?
- Is there enough storage space?
- Is the room equipped with basic home appliances or electronic equipment (like TV, cable, radio, internet, telephone)?
- Does the food selection vary from day-to-day, meal-to-meal?
- Does the facility offer nutritionally-balanced meals seven days a week?
- Does the facility have snacks available?
- Can the facility accommodate special diets/meal requests?
- Does the facility follow a meal schedule or can they eat anytime?
F. Activities and Services:
- Does the assisted living facility offer organized activities? Does it follow a daily schedule of activities?
- Are there activities organized outside the facility?
- Are there exercise or health programs available?
- Do seniors have the option to choose their daily routine/schedule/activities?
- Does the facility offer transport services if seniors need to go to the bank, church, grocery, etc.?
- Does the facility offer Religious/Spiritual services?
- Does the assisted living facility provide families updates regarding the resident’s status and condition regularly or if necessary?
- Does the facility offer arrangements for delivery of prescriptions or other medical supplies, if necessary?
- Are there enough staff/caregivers? Are they readily available 24/7 to assist seniors if necessary?
- Are the staff members presentable and friendly?
- Are the staff/caregivers qualified to care for seniors? Are they trained to handle emergency situations/conditions of seniors?
- Does the facility do a background check of their staff?
3) Once you’ve learned about the facility’s features and services, check and ask about the costs, methods of payment, insurance accepted before making a decision.
A. What types of contract/care are offered and how much does it cost on a monthly/yearly basis?
B. Are there any upfront costs (deposits and other fees)?
C. Does the facility charge extra for care and supplies?
D. What are the types of insurance accepted by the facility (Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, long-term care, private insurance, etc.)?
Additional “Assisted Living Tour Checklist” Reminders
1. Determine what kind of senior care facilities are in your area. Doctors, friends and relatives, hospital social workers, and religious organizations may be able to help you identify a specific facility that’s right for your aging loved one.
2. Make a list of questions you would like to ask the staff. Think about what is important to you, such as activity programs for seniors, transportation, or special units for people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, if applicable.
3. Talk to the facility administrator, nursing staff, and residents to familiarize yourself with the care home.
4. Observe the way the assisted living facility runs and how residents are treated. You may want to drop by again unannounced to see if your impressions are the same.
5. Find out what kinds of programs and services are offered to seniors/residents. Ask about staff training in dementia care, if needed, and check to see what the policy is about family participation in planning patient care.
6. Check on room availability, cost and method of payment, and participation in Medicare or Medicaid for the senior care facilities that interest you. In might also, be wise to place your name on a waiting list even if you are not ready to make an immediate decision about long-term care.
Once you have made a decision, be sure you understand the terms of the contract and financial agreement for the assisted living facility of your choice. You may want to have a lawyer review the documents with you before signing.
It is also advisable to consult with the local placement agency or a social worker to help you in planning and in making the best decision in choosing the right assisted living facility.
Note: We hope you found this Assisted Living Tour Checklist helpful. If you did find it helpful, please don’t forget to share or post it on Facebook, tweet about it on Twitter, or Email it to your friends and loved ones so they can learn more about what assisted living is all about.
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